Jason Motte set for follow-up MRI on elbow Tuesday

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Jason Motte was forced to begin the season on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, but he’s hoping to close games for the Cardinals again soon.

Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Motte is scheduled to visit Dr. George Paletta tomorrow for a follow-up MRI on his elbow. While he has been limited to arm exercises since he first complained of symptoms following a Grapefruit League appearance on March 21, he could be cleared to ramp things up if improvement is found.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be able to compare where we were to where we are,” Motte said before Monday’s home opener. “From there, we’ll move forward with what they’ll let me do or not do. If they say everything looks fine, we’ll move on from there. It just depends on what they say I need or don’t need.”

Mitchell Boggs is serving as the Cardinals’ closer with Motte sidelined. After he allowed one run in four innings over his first four appearances this season, he was touched up for seven runs (six earned) on two hits, four walks (two intentional) and a wild pitch today against the Reds. The Cardinals’ defense didn’t help matters, but…ouch.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.